Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Stormlight Archive #2
Also by this author: Steelheart
Published by Tor Books on March 4th, 2014
Also in this series: Edgedancer
From the bestselling author who completed Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series comes a new, original creation that matches anything else in modern fantasy for epic scope, thrilling imagination, superb characters and sheer addictiveness.Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artifacts from a past civilisation that can win wars.As the world tips into a war for control of the mythical artifacts of power made from Shard, characters are swept up into new dangers which will threaten their integrity and their lives.Huge, ideas-filled, world-spanning fantasy from a master of the genre.
Wow. That could be my single word review of Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. If you read Way of Kings, go read this. If you haven’t, go read Way of Kings and then read this. Seriously, this is one of the most fun, most epic fantasy series out there.
I am tempted to leave my review at that and while I will expand just a little, I am going to keep this fairly short. I have started and stopped writing this review numerous times over the last 6 weeks or so, sometimes as a spoiler filled commentary, sometimes a spoiler free review. I decided to just go with my basic reactions, a spoiler free commentary. Want more than this (something that is more real review, less general reactions)? Well, there will be a plethora of positive/raving reviews for this on genre blogs that will go into more detail., I could even point you to some if you like).
My thoughts? I absolutely loved this. There is so much going on, but it’s still a fast paced page-turner of a book. Well, as fast as 1000+ pages can be.. This is the type of book that can pull someone into the genre and make them not want to leave. In typical Sanderson style, this is an easy to read book despite the sheer size of it.
Two points that stand out. First, people complained about Shellan in the first book, but I think it makes sense her character was weaker then. This is a 10 novel series, so even after the second one, we are just starting to dip our feet in the waters of what is going on in this world. Shellan is also a developing character (as are the others). I think we got to see a really interesting side to her in this and I hope that those who didn’t enjoy her in the beginning can finally start to appreciate her. Personally, I loved her interactions with Adolin, she’s really quite an amusing character. And then on top of that, her character is getting deeper into the story and through her we get our introduction to a secret society called the Ghostbloods. Really really curious to see where her story line goes both because I’ve become quite a bit more attached to her character and because she is really getting tangled up in some intriguing plotlines.
My largest complaint when reading this (yes, I guess I did have one) was that I didn’t have the time to do a Way of Kings reread (my fault, not the books). There were characters and details that I was slower to pick up on because it wasn’t fresh. And then to add to that, there were connections to Warbreaker. I really didn’t see that coming at all. As much as I enjoyed this, and as much as I feel I picked up plenty, I also feel like if WoK was fresher, I likely would have noticed more details in the overall story. So, if you haven’t read WoR yet, I highly recommend either doing a WoK re-read, or even browsing some of the online re-reads, like the one at Tor first. It might save you from feeling like you missed something like I did.
So overall, highly recommend this book and series. Sanderson has really set the basis for what could be one of the best epic series out there.